If you have been charged with driving under the influence in VA for the first-time, your driver’s license was suspended for a year, and you are thinking about requesting a restricted driver’s license, we have good news about expanding your restricted license options in VA.
Virginia’s law on restricted driver’s licenses changed on July 1, 2020. The VA code § 18.2-270.1 that deals with ignition interlock devices and restricted licenses after a DUI conviction was recently amended, and the change will give DUI offenders more options. If you are eligible for a restricted license, with the new law change, you may be allowed to request an “any purpose” restricted license. Read on to learn what this means.
Eligibility for a Restricted License in VA
In the past, if you are a convicted first-time DUI offender, your driver’s license would be suspended for one year. During the suspension period, you could request a “restricted license” that would allow you to drive your
vehicle for a minimal number of purposes (such as driving to work and driving back home, and similar). In order to have your restricted license request approved, an ignition interlock device would need to be installed on your vehicle for 6 months.
With the new change in the VA code § 18.2-270.1, eligible drivers can now request the court to broaden the scope of a restricted license, and allow them to drive for “any purpose”. If your request is granted, the ignition interlock device requirement is extended from 6 months to 12 months.
From July 1, 2020, drivers convicted of a DUI who are eligible for a restricted driver’s license will have two options:
- Drivers may have a limited, restricted license for one year with 6 months of ignition interlock.
- Drivers may have an “any purpose” restricted license with 12 months of ignition interlock.
Eligibility for an “Any Purpose” Restricted License in VA
Not anyone can request the “any purpose” restricted license. To be eligible for a request, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a first-time DUI offender
- Be convicted of a FIRST offense of § 18.2-266/DUI or a substantially similar law
- Be an adult at the time you have committed the offense
- You BAC must be lower than 0.15
If you are ineligible to request the “any purpose” restricted license under § 18.2-270.1(C), you may still be able to file your request for this license under § 18.2-270.1(E). However, VA code goes into effect on July 1, 2021, or one year later.
Under the new subsection (E), if you are ineligible to get the “any purpose” restricted license under paragraph (C), you may still get this license if you subject to the following requirements:
- You must be equipped with a remote alcohol monitoring device as long as the period of the prohibition under subsection B expires
- You can’t consume alcohol during that period
- Each vehicle you own or is registered to you must have an ignition interlock device installed
- Pay a $20 fee for administrative and court costs
If you have been charged with a DUI in VA, this new law may apply to your case. Experts at Keefer Law Firm can help fight for your rights, reduce your sentence, and get the best outcome of your case. We can also help you file for an “any purpose” restricted license and navigate you through the entire legal process.
No legal case is too hard or complicated for us! If you have operated a vehicle under the influence and would like to know more about your options, contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you.